Penn State running back opts to enter transfer portal

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Penn State running back Noah Cain has entered the transfer portal, according to On3’s Matt Zenitz. The former four-star recruit retains multiple years of eligibility after his time with the Nittany Lions.

Noah Cain rushed for 778 yards and 12 touchdowns, adding 24 receptions for 154 yards over his Penn State career before opting to transfer. His best season came as a freshman in 2019, when he set career-highs in yards, yards per carry and touchdowns. Cain played just one quarter in 2020 before suffering a season-ending lower body injury.

Entering college, Cain ranked as a top 100 player in On3’s consensus rankings and stood No. 6 among running backs. Despite his pedigree, he fell down the depth chart after the injury and now looks to find a larger role elsewhere in college football.

Transfer portal background information 

The NCAA Transfer Portal, which covers every NCAA sport at the Division I, II and III levels, is a private database with names of student-athletes who wish to transfer. It is not accessible to the public.

The process of entering the portal is done through a school’s compliance office. Once a player provides written notification of an intent to transfer, the office enters the player’s name in the database and everything is off and running. The compliance office has 48 hours to comply with the player’s request and that request cannot be refused.

Once a player’s name shows up in the portal, other schools can contact the player. Players can change their minds at any point and withdraw from the portal. However, once a player enters the portal, the current scholarship no longer has to be honored.

The database is a normal database, sortable by a variety of topics, including (of course) sport and name. A player’s individual entry includes basic details such as contact info, whether the player was on scholarship and whether the player is transferring as a graduate student.

A player can ask that a “do not contact” tag be placed on the report. In those instances, the players don’t want to be  contacted by schools unless they’ve initiated the communication.

The portal has been around since Oct. 15, 2018 and the new calendar cycle within the portal begins each August. For example, the 2021-22 cycle started Aug. 1. During the 2020-21 cycle, 2,626 FBS football players entered the transfer portal (including walk-ons). That comes after 1,681 entered during the 2019-20 cycle and 1,709 during the abbreviated 2018-19 cycle. In comparison, 1,833 Division I basketball players entered the portal during the 2020-21 cycle after totals of 1,020 in 2019-20 and 1,063 in 2018-19.